in·​ward | \ ˈin-wərd How to pronounce inward (audio) \

Definition of inward

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : situated on the inside : inner
2a : of or relating to the mind or spirit inward peace
b : absorbed in one's own mental or spiritual life : introspective
3 : marked by close acquaintance : familiar
4 : directed toward the interior


\ ˈin-wərd How to pronounce inward (audio) \
variants: or inwards \ ˈin-​wərdz How to pronounce inwards (audio) \

Definition of inward (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : toward the inside, center, or interior
2 : toward the inner being



Definition of inward (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : something that is inward
2 inwards\ ˈin-​ərdz How to pronounce inwards (audio) , -​wərdz\ plural : innards

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Synonyms & Antonyms for inward

Synonyms: Adjective

inner, inside, interior, internal

Antonyms: Adjective

exterior, external, outer, outside, outward

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Examples of inward in a Sentence


moved towards the inward room for more privacy he's more inward with the president than most members of the cabinet


The window faces inward toward the courtyard. He turned his attention inward.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

By comparison, Germany and France, much bigger economies with more inward investments, have four cases between them. The Economist, "Disgruntled investors are losing patience with central Europe," 8 June 2019 Reddit user u/Waitingforadragon thinks that Jon's cold shoulder is an outward reflection of his inward identity crisis. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Why Didn't Jon Snow Say Goodbye to Ghost the Direwolf on 'Game of Thrones'?," 8 May 2019 The fall of his hand and the slight inward turn of his feet broadcast vulnerability and melancholy. Vogue, "“Friday I’m in Love”—A Valentine to Robert Smith as the Cure Is Inducted Into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame," 29 Mar. 2019 To prevent the yuan’s decline from becoming permanent, Chinese policy makers need to encourage more inward investment to offset rising consumption of foreign wares. WSJ, "Yuan Weakness Isn’t Just About Trump," 7 Aug. 2018 The researchers reported that the sheer weight of the galaxy, from its huge cloud of gas, puts so much inward pressure on the monster's body that the outward pressure of its spin can't compensate. Rafi Letzter, Fox News, "This ancient 'monster' galaxy should have destroyed itself," 30 Aug. 2018 Under this electric sky, find the balance between your outward expression and inward reflection. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Sign's August 2018 Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 30 July 2018 On Wednesday, November 7, the new moon in Scorpio blankets the sky, and this is a time for inward reflection. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Sign's November Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 28 Oct. 2018 With just nine races left until the Chase begins, such inward reflection is becoming increasingly important for the native of Monterrey, Mexico. Deaundra Allen, charlotteobserver, "Suarez looks to use Coke Zero Sugar 400 as stepping stone," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Trump’s inward-looking view is not unique, as nationalist leaders and movements are on the rise in Europe. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Trump in Normandy: ‘We are gathered here on freedom’s altar’," 6 June 2019 Turn the outer pointed edge inward to form a new triangle, and repeat until the entire flag is folded into a neat triangle. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "American Flag Etiquette: Here's How to Properly Display the American Flag," 22 May 2019 Jason, who promised his clients gorgeous French doors that opened up into the backyard, realized too late that the doors opened inward instead of outward. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Best Room Wins Episode Two Steps Up to the Challenge of Contemporary," 9 May 2019 Then, blended it inward with a fluffy one like the Moda Metallics Crease brush. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Monsta X's 9 Most Daring Eye Makeup Looks From the "Shoot Out" Music Video," 22 Oct. 2018 Like many of its neighbors, Germany is threatening to turn inward. Alan Crawford,, "As Merkel’s Power Drains, the Threat to Europe Grows," 27 June 2018 An economic shock can shake the members’ priorities, spurring them to turn inward. Julia Gray, Washington Post, "Are we witnessing the collapse of the global order? Probably not — yet.," 18 May 2018 The eyes of nearly all of Saar's sculptures are open, but their focus seems turned inward, as if the figures are protecting a deep, inner power by not giving up their gaze. Leah Ollman,, "Alison Saar turns things 'Topsy Turvy' at L.A. Louver," 9 Apr. 2018 Another important note: Avoid letting your knees cave inward, on both the down and up portion of the squat. Amy Marturana, SELF, "17 Squat Variations That Will Seriously Work Your Butt," 18 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Bengoechea had pulled a medieval-looking flag from the Palazzo’s exterior through a window, allowing the flag to spill inwards, and cover the exquisite marble work like a carpet. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "In Her New Book, Wendy Goodman Asks May I Come In? Thankfully, a Lot of People Said Yes," 4 Oct. 2018 Such satellites would likely be lost during the chaos-inducing inward migration undertaken by these giants after their formation, the thinking goes. Mike Wall,, "First Exomoon Found? Neptune-Sized World Possibly Spotted Orbiting Alien Planet," 3 Oct. 2018 In the Charlottesville City Council, anger and resentment over last year’s march quickly turned inwards, as progressives went to war with themselves. James Loeffler, WSJ, "The Struggle for Charlottesville," 10 Aug. 2018 Aikens rallied on his inward nine and squared up his match vs. O’Leary with a birdie on No. Mia Berry,, "Defending MassAm champion Matt Parziale falls in quarters," 12 July 2018 July’s promise to you is something far greater and more enduring, and the temporary discomfort of quieting down and turning inwards will be well worth it. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Monthly Lovescopes July 2018," 2 July 2018 And so, in the months since my own diagnosis, my response has been to try and look outwards as well as inwards. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Inward Empire," 27 June 2018 The white garage door on the victim's house looked warped inwards, with enough space for someone to enter or exit. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "His friend said he wasn't returning calls. Homicide detectives now are investigating his death.," 24 June 2018 Do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in your right hand, palm facing inwards towards the torso. Emily Abbate, GQ, "The Best Abs Workouts: GQ’s Definitive Guide to Getting a Ripped Stomach," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inward.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inward


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for inward


Middle English, from Old English inweard (akin to Old High German inwert), from in + -weard -ward entry 1

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Statistics for inward

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for inward

The first known use of inward was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for inward



English Language Learners Definition of inward

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to a person's mind or spirit
: directed or moving toward the inside of something



English Language Learners Definition of inward (Entry 2 of 2)

: toward the inside of something
: toward the mind or spirit


in·​ward | \ ˈin-wərd How to pronounce inward (audio) \

Kids Definition of inward

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : toward the inside or center an inward curve
2 : of or concerning the mind or spirit He felt inward joy.


variants: or inwards \ -​wərdz \

Kids Definition of inward (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : toward the inside or center The door opens inward.
2 : toward the mind or spirit I turned my thoughts inward.

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More from Merriam-Webster on inward

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inward

Spanish Central: Translation of inward

Nglish: Translation of inward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inward for Arabic Speakers

Comments on inward

What made you want to look up inward? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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